TORONTO — Two Canadians remained paralyzed Tuesday after drinking carrot juice contaminated with the botulism toxin, health officials said.
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A week after Bolthouse Farms issued a continental recall of its carrot juice, at least 10 Toronto businesses still had the product on their shelves over the long holiday weekend, prompting health officials to call on the media to warn households and shopkeepers to throw away the juice.
Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving on Monday and people were returning to work Tuesday after a four-day weekend, many of them out of town and possibly unaware of the health scare. In the United States, four people were hospitalized after drinking the juice, including one woman who was paralyzed.
Toronto Public Health officials said the carrot juice was purchased in Toronto and the paralyzed patients are from the Toronto area.
Bolthouse Farms 100 percent Carrot Juice, Earthbound Farm Organic Carrot Juice and President's Choice Organics 100 percent Pure Carrot Juice with a best-before date of Nov. 11 were ordered off shelves after four cases of botulism were linked to toxic carrot juice in the United States.
Botulism attacks the junction where the nerves send their messages to the muscles, which causes paralysis. In severe cases, in which the breathing muscles are paralyzed, patients need to rely on a ventilator to breathe for them.
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